The Latest Dirt: Before or After? In Progress

What We're Eating:
Peach, yogurt, and granola parfait
Made a nice yogurt parfait for breakfast yesterday.
  • 2 big dollops of plain, full-fat* Greek yogurt
  • homemade granola
  • another dollop of yogurt
  • homemade granola
  • diced peaches
 * I haven't found any low-fat/non-fat yogurt or sour cream that's not filled with extra starches. At least the fat is naturally-occurring!

I ate this sitting in the backyard on the patio, on a nice warm summer morning right before we attacked the garden. It was nice to take a moment to appreciate the work we've done already, that I could just wake up, head out there and eat my breakfast. Also, fresh and yummy!
watermelon-cucumber soup in a bowl
 Monday was so warm, we just wanted something refreshing for dinner. Enter: Cucumber-Watermelon soup!
  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Greek yogurt
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Salt & Pepper
This is really supposed to be a "savory" soup despite the
sweet ingredients, so the pepper is essential. We used the immersion blender, but a regular blender would probably be faster for small batches--I just didn't want the extra dishes.


Before & Afters
Rose garden with geranium pots in front of a window; messy, small spots where the mulch has been raked.
We have a lot of roses. Did I mention that before? Because we do. Here shown we have 6 of them, next to another 3 to the left of this picture, which also has a Yucca plant in that bed. We are planting garlic in that section between the roses in this post; long-term/fall plan is to straighten out the front of the bed and weed the bits of grass out that have crept in.
Now, they're nice little patches of dirt with little bulbs of garlic underneath!

It was during this digging process that Mum informed us that the lot upon which this house was built had been the rock pit for the entire neighborhood as they built it. So they were kind enough to throw a few inches of dirt underneath the sod, but after 17 years that has filtered out. The rocks are not only pushing through the sod, but right underneath and throughout the yard where we need to be digging and gardening! We're starting to re-vamp some of our plans with this knowledge, and it involves a lot of buying dirt and making raised beds rather than the sweat and mediocre growing of plants without proper dirt to grow in!
Container bed by a ramp to the front door, under a newspaper box--messy, dead plants, empty disposable planter containers

These containers are forever changing. Here you can see how they looked when we started and how we fixed them up in spring. Those annuals we planted in the front of the containers have died off in the heat, so we needed to pull them out and fill that space.

And here's what it looks like now! Possibly a little bare... but Red Swiss Chard seeds are in there, waiting to germinate and grow some lovely, edible leaves throughout the fall.

Other Progress we made on Wednesday:

 Pulled the old Cilantro and sowed some seeds to try again. 

 Separated the garlic bulbs from the grassy parts...

 Then separated the edible bulbs from the planting ones! Once we planted the ones we wanted, I posted an offer on Freecycle for the rest.

 I found a ladybug, put it out on my leeks with the weird black bugs, and watched her devour a few before I wandered off. Hopefully she will make a home there and find herself some reinforcements. 

 What a lovely harvest of plums from our tree! They're soooo tart and delicious too!

Some other "before" pictures:
Two lilac bushes, one large & one small; row of short bushes behind them on the property line; flagpole in the foreground; lots of dead grass.
This bed is going to be a rose bed soon. We are taking all the roses from the bed next to the curved sidewalk below, and planting them over here so they stop catching on people's clothes. This bed is going to be a pain, and it was creating a strategy for it that we decided the best option for dealing with the rocks underneath is to just forget it and build on top of them. So that will become a raised rose bed with lilacs...

Curved row of rose bushes along a curved sidewalk between the driveway and front door; hosta plant in the foreground which may actually be a bush..

And this will become a bed with tulips and some short ground-cover flowers to make it look nice and filled in without falling all over the walk.

Mint garden, dying back; pot for transplanting mint
This mint bed is getting pulled out. Obviously, mint is going to grow back here, there's nothing to do about that. But! That's ok! Because we're going to transplant what we can into the rose bed along the front walk (below), and the rest can stick around back here to keep aphids off the cauliflower that's getting planted here, and to mitigate any smells from the compost bin that's just to the left.

Line of rose bushes along the sidewalk; lumps of mulch that has been raked to expose dirt; lots of dead grass.
So all those little mounds are where we pulled up mulch for transplanting mint. But then we realized there were bees going CRAZY for the mint flowers that have just blossomed, so we decided to leave it for a day or two and give the bees their space.

All in all, lots of progress made, a nice harvest of plums and garlic (which we got to use in our dinner!). Mr. Moon and I are pleased with the work that's been done, and excited for the plans for the next steps. Hopefully by the end of this fall, a lot of the catch-up landscaping projects will be done and we can simply enjoy them and focus on the vegetable garden next year.
How is your garden growing? Any major progress lately? Any fun landscaping projects in the works?


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